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Back in May I received an email I had always hoped to receive but deep down didn’t believe I would.  My fourth attempt at Landscape Photographer of the Year finally yielded me a shortlisted image in the prestigious competition.  I chose to keep the news to myself with the exception of some close friends and family as I didn’t want to get my hopes up.  As with many competitions out of the images I entered it wasn’t the image I expected to get so far, that’s not to say it isn’t an image I like, otherwise I wouldn’t have entered it.  

A few weeks ago Twitter was alive with photographers expressing their disappointed of receiving their ‘dear John’ emails.  Their shortlisted image(s) had reached the end of the road in the competition.  I checked my email (even making sure to check the spam folder!) and I hadn’t received a dear John!  Had I gone further than the shortlisting stage?  Unfortunately a few hours later the dreaded email arrived.  So the Landscape Photographer of the Year journey for me is over again.  

Obviously the initial blow hurt, but I remain proud to have made it so far.  Especially as this was my fourth year of trying and on previous attempts I had not even made the short list.  It hasn’t made me a better photographer, or made me any worse of a photographer for not getting any further.  After all it is just a competition, and as discussed before, a different day, a different judge and potentially a different result.  However it has fired my passion for the landscape again.

The image itself is below, I titled it ‘Autumn Cascade.’  It is a classic scene of Kennall Vale, not something that hasn’t been done before I guess, but what attracted me to the scene on this occasion was the wonderful hint of autumn colours in the background.  This was a day time trip, just me and the camera between school drop-offs.  Proof that not all landscape photography needs to be at the crack of dawn or sunset.